Guwahati, Kaziranga, Shillong, Cherrapunji Trip Report
kanishka_27
India > States in India > India Travel > Meghalaya
#1
| Senior Member

Guwahati, Kaziranga, Shillong, Cherrapunji Trip Report

Sorry for being a bit late in writing down my experiences as I had to travel down to Bangalore the very next day I returned

to Kolkata due to some urgencies in my work.

Day 1
------
Reached Guwahati by Indigo flight at around 2.30 pm. After much bargaining we finally arranged for a maruti van (7 seater) at

the airport who agreed to take us to our pre-booked hotel (Hotel Minerva) at Pan Bazar for Rs 500. It took us around 45 mins

to reach the hotel and we received a shock to find out that this was by no means a hotel (double room rent 1200). It is a

newly constructed building where they have started a hotel, without a geyser in the toilets, no restaurants ( you cant even

get a cup of tea ), no courteous staffs, etc. I will never stay there again even if someone offers me a free stay.
After reaching the hotel, me and my brother went out to arrange for a vehicle for the next day to take us first to the

Kamakhya Temple in the morning and then drop us to Kaziranga. In order to arrange for one, we walked down to Paltan Bazar

which is just across the overbridge from Pan Bazar (around 15 mins walk). We got quotes ranging from Rs 5000 to 8000 for a

Sumo type vehicle. At the point of losing hope of finding a single decent person to talk to we managed to find a person

called Ali who agreed for this leg of the trip for Rs. 3700.

Day 2
------
Early morning at 8 am we started for Kamakhya Temple and took the Rs 500 ticket which happens to be the VIP queue. It took us

around 1-1.5 hrs to complete the darshan and by 11 am wwe came back to the hotel to collect our luggage and start for

Kaziranga which is around 235 kms. It took us around 5-6 hours to reach Dhanashree Resort (pre-booked) at Kaziranga. Its a

wonderfully maintained resort in the lap of greeneries. We booked the Jeep Safari for the next day for the Kohra range which

costed us Rs.1700 for a Gypsy (6-people).

Day 3
------
Usual strolling and relaxing throughout the morning and then after lunch the Safari Gypsy came to pick us up from the resort.
The safari was nice and we got to see an ant-eater, a couple of deers and wild boars, quite a few elephants and a solitary

rhino (though I had to utilize the entire 20X zoom). By 5 pm we were back to the resort. At this juncture we experienced a

twist in the tale. All this while the resort guys had confirmed that they will be able to arrange for a 7 seater vehicle to

Shillong the next day. But today they told us that there is a major conflict going on between the Meghalaya Tourist Taxi

Association and the Assam tourist vehicle Unions. Not a single tourist vehicle from Assam was being allowed in to Shillong

City and there were news of violence as well. We were completely out of ideas as we could see our entire trip getting

jeopardized. Someone suggested that they can arrange for a drop till Jorabat, and from there we can try to find a Meghalaya

registered vehicle to go to Shillong. We did not like the idea as we had a couple of senior citizens in our group. After

brainstorming for an hour or so with the resort managers, we suddenly came up with the idea of hiring two Tata Indica

(Private registered) for a drop till Shillong. It was confirmed by the resort and we had to pay 3800 per Indica. Along with

that we also had the elephant safari booking done for the next morning for which we will have to leave the hotel at 4 am.

Day 4
-------
At 4.30 am a forest gypsy came to pick us up and took us to the elephant safari place around 15 kms from the resort. The

elephant safari was amazing. The big animal was demolishing and eating those tall grasses all along the way and made its way

with its trunk. Here also we saw the exact smae animals which we had seen during our jeep safari yesterday. The good thing is

that the elephant went real close to the rhino and we could see it at a distance of 15 feet from us. We came back to the

resort by 7 am and got ready by 8.30 am as we were told that it would take around 9 hours to reach Shillong ( 200 kms from

Kaziranga to Jorabat and from Jorabat to Shillong its around 80 kms). the two Indicas came on time and we started for

Shillong at 9 am with a lot of apprehensions and the drivers of the indica told us that if any protesters block the way, then

we need to tell them that these are our own vehicles and we were just on a private trip to Shiillong. Although there were a

lot of fear and assumptions, but by the grace of God, nothing actually happened and we reached Shillong 7 pm. We pulled up at

Hotel MiCasa which is a nice hotel, run by some professional people and at a 100 metres distance from the Police Bazaar.

Day 5
------
As the tourist vehicles were on an indefinite strike, hece we had to book two Maruti 800 Taxis for Rs700 a piece for 7 points

and 4 hours. The tour got over by 3 pm and all evening we were just strolling and doing some marketting in the different

shops and emporiums around the Police Bazaar and Bara Bazaar area.

Day 6
-------
A Mahindra Maxx came to our hotel to pick us up from Shillong and drop us at the Cherapunji Holiday Resort at Cherapunji.

This vehicle was arranged by Mr. D. P. Rayen the owner of the Resort and we had to pay him Rs 1500. We reached Cherapunji in

3 hours ( stopping at 2 viewpoints along our way ). This was an amazing drive. One needs to be there to understand what I am

saying. On reaching the resort we were given a warm welcome by Mr. rayen as well as his staffs. The resort has 6 rooms and

each room and its inmates are given personal care by each and everyone from the management. We could not believe the way

things were managed in such a remote place where the nearest market happens to be around 18 kms. We reached the resort at 2

pm. and wanted to visit the nearest Living Root Bridge that very day. Immediately Mr. Rayen arranged for a guide and four of

us were on our way to the Root Bridge. Its around a 2 km trek downhill and then a 2 km trek uphill to the resort. Each of us

was given a bamboo stick whose use we could not foresee at that point. As our trek went ahead we could realize how important

that stick was. It took us around 1.5 hours to get to the root bridge. We were completely exhausted and was afraid to think

that how much time it would take for us to go back to the resort as it was already almost dark. But the Root Bridge is really

a thing to see. We almost forgot our tiredness once we were there, Our guide, a young man ( Mr. Baht ) had carried 3 litres

of water for us and also 3 torches which proved to be life savers on our way back. To add to it, he took the entire weight of

my wife on his hand for the entire trek. He is indeed a nice and responsible man. The entire trek took us around 4 hours end

to end. The rate for the guide is Rs. 250 but we paid him 500 bucks as a sign of our gratitude.

Day 7
------
We went for a cherapunji local sight seeing ( the entire day with packed lunch arranged by Mr. Rayen) which covered a lot of

falls, some caves and some viewpoints. Each and every one was unique and wonderful. I can tell you the names of them if you

want to know them. It took us around Rs. 1500 for the entire sight seeing in a Mahindra Maxx. The evening we enjoyed a

bonfire at the hotel and dined with some Khasi delicacies called Jadoh and Pork Neyoing.

Day 8
-------
This was free day where just strolled around the Khasi village around the resort and met with the local tribal people. We

were amazed to see the development work that is being done by Mr Rayen for these villagers.

Day 9
-------
Air India Flight from Shillong to Kolkata. Please be aware that it takes around 4 hours to reach Shillong Airport from

Cherapunji Holidat Resort. It was a nice experience to board a propeller driven ATR plane. The Shillong Airport is also a very picturesque, nice and small airport in the lap of the surrounding hills. Very neat and clean with only one flight operating the entire day. Everything is manual here, so please do expect some delays in obtaining your boarding passes.


Note: No prepaid mobile phone will work for the entire journey. Only postpaid phones will work in Guwahati, Kaziranga and Shillong. In Cherapunji nothing from the plains will work ( not even the postpaid SIMs)

15 Replies

#2
| Maha Guru Member
What a trip. Any pictures of the elephants and the Root Bridge?
#3
| Senior Member
sent the link
#4
| Maha Guru Member
Thanks Kanishka.
#5
| Maha Guru Member
Kanishka, if you don't mind, why don't you share the link of snaps in IM, we all could enjoy then ofcourse with your permission:D. And ofcourse thanks for sharing this nice report.
#6
| Maha Guru Member
@Kanishka... For me your report has come at the right moment! I am leaving for Guwahati (en route to Shillong)tomorrow i.e. on 21st Nov. I will be moving to Shillong directly from the Airport. My plan is to visit Shillong, Cherrapunji and Mawlilong etc. Thereafte I would be back to Guwahati and visit Pabitora Sanctuary (any info on Pabitora?). Finally I shall move to Agartala (Tripura)and visit a few places (notably Neer Mahal, Unokoti sculptures etc.)over there. From Agartala I shall come back to Kolkata. Total duration will be around 10 days. Now, few questions (but if u visit this site today/tonight and reply by today, then only I will be able to see it, otherwise I shall leave for Airport tomorrow morning.

1. I am also travelling by Indigo, which leaves Dum Dum at around 10.40 AM and reach Guwahati by 12.10 PM. You had mentioned in your report the flight had reached at about 2.30 PM. Was there a delay?
2. I was told that Meghalaya State Transport has a deluxe bus plying daily from Guwahati Airport to Shillong and it starts at around 2PM. Any feed back on this?
3. How is temperature at Shillong? Do we need to carry heavy woolen or light woolen will do?
4. I am interested in living root bridge. But from your account it seems that trekking for Cherapunji Root Bridge involves lot of trekking. We, being a group of senior citizens, may not be able to take the strain. I was told that there is one more root bridge at Mawlilong and this one involves small trekking, which we may be able to take up. Any idea/feed back on this?
5. Any other tips/suggestions for us? Specially because you had mentioned in your report that you had a few senior citizens in your Group and I reckon you must have encountered special requirements of people like us. Hence, this request.
Thanks & regards
#7
| Maha Guru Member

Originally posted by: asishdas View Post


1. I am also travelling by Indigo, which leaves Dum Dum at around 10.40 AM and reach Guwahati by 12.10 PM. You had mentioned in your report the flight had reached at about 2.30 PM. Was there a delay?


There are 3 indigo flights between Kolkata and Guwahati, first one reaches 12.10pm, next one reaches at 2.30pm and last one at 5.20pm, I don't think you and Kanishka are taking same flight.

Originally posted by: asishdas View Post

3. How is temperature at Shillong? Do we need to carry heavy woolen or light woolen will do?


Current temperature IMD shows at Shillong is somewhere around 10 (min) to 18 (max), To me it's quite pleasant though there is a warning of dip in temperature across Northwest and eastern India in coming weeks because of weakening of low pressure area in Bay of Bengal. So based on your requirement get warm clothing that can help you to sustain around 13/15 degree C in day time.

Originally posted by: asishdas View Post

4. I am interested in living root bridge. But from your account it seems that trekking for Cherapunji Root Bridge involves lot of trekking. We, being a group of senior citizens, may not be able to take the strain. I was told that there is one more root bridge at Mawlilong and this one involves small trekking, which we may be able to take up. Any idea/feed back on this?


I have visited the Mawlinlong Living Root Bridge last year, it's just hardly 10 mins walk (little ups and downs ofcourse) from where car would leave you. I travelled with 4 senior citizens all of whom could make that.

All the best for your trip!!
#8
| Reborn-Travel-Redie

Originally posted by: asishdas View Post

@Kanishka... For me your report has come at the right moment! I am leaving for Guwahati (en route to Shillong)tomorrow i.e. on 21st Nov. I will be moving to Shillong directly from the Airport. My plan is to visit Shillong, Cherrapunji and Mawlilong etc. Thereafte I would be back to Guwahati and visit Pabitora Sanctuary (any info on Pabitora?). Finally I shall move to Agartala (Tripura)and visit a few places (notably Neer Mahal, Unokoti sculptures etc.)over there. From Agartala I shall come back to Kolkata. Total duration will be around 10 days. Now, few questions (but if u visit this site today/tonight and reply by today, then only I will be able to see it, otherwise I shall leave for Airport tomorrow morning.

1. I am also travelling by Indigo, which leaves Dum Dum at around 10.40 AM and reach Guwahati by 12.10 PM. You had mentioned in your report the flight had reached at about 2.30 PM. Was there a delay?
2. I was told that Meghalaya State Transport has a deluxe bus plying daily from Guwahati Airport to Shillong and it starts at around 2PM. Any feed back on this?
3. How is temperature at Shillong? Do we need to carry heavy woolen or light woolen will do?
4. I am interested in living root bridge. But from your account it seems that trekking for Cherapunji Root Bridge involves lot of trekking. We, being a group of senior citizens, may not be able to take the strain. I was told that there is one more root bridge at Mawlilong and this one involves small trekking, which we may be able to take up. Any idea/feed back on this?
5. Any other tips/suggestions for us? Specially because you had mentioned in your report that you had a few senior citizens in your Group and I reckon you must have encountered special requirements of people like us. Hence, this request.
Thanks & regards


Hello Mr. Asish!!

1) As kshil suggested, Kanishka must have taken the second Indigo flight. I am a regular flier on this route and you seldom get late unless there is a congestion at DumDum at time of departure from Kolkata. You shall surely reach by around 12 at Guwahati.

2) The MST has a Airport transfer service from Shillong to Guwahati and vice versa. It departs at around 2 in the afternoon and 4 in the evening from Guwahati. The fare shall be around 250 per person. You can get the tickets at Meghalaya tourism office at Guwahati airport itself.

3) Temperature in Shillong was pleasant until 2-3 days back. But it has just got a bit chilly since yesterday. So my advice would be to carry some good woolens.

4) The Mawlinlong Living Root Bridge is apt for people of upper age bracket. However, the one Kanishka explored has its own charm.

5) Pabitora sanctury is just around 50-55 Km's from Guwahati so it wont be a major hassle getting there. You can plan to leave from Guwahati in morning and get back by evening.

6) I would advice you to negotiate well on transportation if not pre booked. Also carry some cash in hand always (at least 3-4 k's) specially when in Cherrapunji as ATM's in this part of the world can go down any time.

Have a happy trip.
I am only responsible for what I say, and not what you understand
#9
| Senior Member
All the questions are pretty much answered as best as it can be.

Point 6 mentioned above is very critical. In Shillong Police Bazar you will find ATMs of all the banks. But the other places are not that much endowed. Guwahati will have its share of banks and ATMs, but being a big city, you may not be able to find one near you. Do carry ample cash, as North East is pretty expensive and BARGAIN is the keyword.

Also, if you are taking the Cherapunji full day trip, then please be aware that Mawsmai Cave is not at all meant for Senior Citizens and tame-hearted. Its a wonderful cave of stalactites and stalagmites but very difficult to go through it.

My handbook for the Shillong and Cherapunji part was this site:

http://www.cherrapunjee.com/

To add to the above, if you are staying at Cherapunji Holiday Resort, there is no better person than Mr Rayen to suggest you the different trips as well as arrange for them. He is very well educated and knowledgeable about the place.

The Root Bridge that I had gone to is a simple No No for Senior Citizens if they are not really energetic and to the best of their health. Mawlinlong Root Bridge is the one that you should concentrate.
#10
| Reborn-Travel-Redie

Originally posted by: kanishka_27 View Post

All the questions are pretty much answered as best as it can be.

Point 6 mentioned above is very critical. In Shillong Police Bazar you will find ATMs of all the banks. But the other places are not that much endowed. Guwahati will have its share of banks and ATMs, but being a big city, you may not be able to find one near you. Do carry ample cash, as North East is pretty expensive and BARGAIN is the keyword.

Also, if you are taking the Cherapunji full day trip, then please be aware that Mawsmai Cave is not at all meant for Senior Citizens and tame-hearted. Its a wonderful cave of stalactites and stalagmites but very difficult to go through it.

My handbook for the Shillong and Cherapunji part was this site:

http://www.cherrapunjee.com/

To add to the above, if you are staying at Cherapunji Holiday Resort, there is no better person than Mr Rayen to suggest you the different trips as well as arrange for them. He is very well educated and knowledgeable about the place.

The Root Bridge that I had gone to is a simple No No for Senior Citizens if they are not really energetic and to the best of their health. Mawlinlong Root Bridge is the one that you should concentrate.



You seem to have had a real taste of North East. By the way, did you go to Mawsinram? Earlier Cherapunjee (Now sohra) was the wettest place on earth. But since last few years, Mawsinram has taken the place.
I am only responsible for what I say, and not what you understand
#11
| Maha Guru Member

Originally posted by: kanishka_27 View Post

Do carry ample cash, as North East is pretty expensive and BARGAIN is the keyword.


This is really so important and 100% true. I am really at a loss now as my current trip is for 21 days, extremely difficult to carry that much cash but not much way out it seems. With my Gold Debit card, I can withdraw upto 50000/- per day, I hope the limit won't change in North East in case I use my own Bank's (HDFC) ATM. Guwahati, Tezpur, Dibrugarh and Tinsukia should have HDFC Branch/ATM. Please correct if I am wrong.

Originally posted by: kanishka_27 View Post

Also, if you are taking the Cherapunji full day trip, then please be aware that Mawsmai Cave is not at all meant for Senior Citizens and tame-hearted. Its a wonderful cave of stalactites and stalagmites but very difficult to go through it.


Yes it's difficult but physically fit person can manage, my in laws of 65 years gone through this successfully but yes it's definitely not for faint hearted, at some point, I was just thinking if I could come back but with that narrow passage you can't do that, only option is going ahead but once you finish it's a wonderful feeling.

Kanishka, have you uploaded the snaps? I am really keen to see the root bridge in Chera.

Cheers!!
#12
| Member

best hotel to stay in Guwahati

could you guys help me out by suggesting some good hotels in Guwahati in terms of location, view, comfort and food. I am visiting with my dad (he is 75).
I am leaving for Guwahati from Kolkata on 9th November and taking a Helicopter ride to Shillong on 11th, taking return flight from Shillong to Kolkata on 13th. I got some good reviews of Hotel Micasa in Shillong. Do you guys have any better suggestion on Shillong hotels?
But really i am looking forward for hotels in Guwahati.

Thanks
#13
| Maha Guru Member
Sanjibh,

What is your budget like? I stayed in Landmark hotel in Guwahati last week and it was really good. As for Shillong, there are many options based on your budget and preferences.
#14
| Member
I can go for 3000 max per night
#15
| Member
Reservation is done for Shillong in Hotel Center Point based on the review.
Do they have restaurant in the hotel? How long it's gonna take if I hire a cab to Kamakhya Temple? Are the VIP passes available (though I am not VIP)? Where/how I can buy 'em? I just want to make hassle free travel experience form my dad.
Thanks in advance for your help